It’s no secret that the Autumn season is my absolute favorite. Since I was 16 years old and first joined my high school cross country team I have associated the changing colors, amazing scents and cooler temperatures with running. To celebrate this new season I decided to hop in a little local 5K action to test my legs and revel in my favorite time of year, doing what I love most.
The race was held at a local University, Ohio Wesleyan, to kick-off their Homecoming festivities and raise money for a local food pantry. How could I resist? I arrived at the location of the race start and finish line, the University’s track, where I have fond memories of cheering on my collegiate teammates many moons ago. I felt a bit nostalgic as I stepped foot on that oval. During my warm-up my mind was transported to my co-ed days and shuffled through various memories from my years as a Muskie. I knew it was going to be a good morning at the races.
When the gun went off, I got into the zone immediately and didn’t think too much about the matter at hand, I just ran. The race wound through the beautiful OWU campus, had multiple short but steep climbs, and thankfully their sister descents. I came through the first mile at 7:06. A tad disappointed, I decided today might not be a PR, but if I dug deep I could still finish in a solid time. As I came through the second mile I was incredibly surprised with my split: 6:34. Hmmm, hello negative split! This second mile definitely increased my confidence in my potential finish time. With about a half mile to go I saw Mommaberries cheering for me and that’s all I needed to kick it into my highest gear to the finish. As I entered the stadium for the final 200 meters I realized I could break the 20:00 mark if I didn’t back down. Final 1.1 mile?: 6:13. Finish time: 19:55, 6:24 pace per mile. Hellllllo second fastest 5K ever!
I about did a flippin’ cart-wheel when I looked at my watch as I crossed the finish!
Every so often I like to test my legs, so that I can readjust any goals I currently have for future races, if needed based on my current fitness level. I honestly think that if this was a flat out-and-back course, I definitely would have beaten my 5K PR. Not only did this course surprisingly have it’s fair share of inclines, there were a heck of a lot of hair-pin turns, which made your pace feel as though it had to come to a screeching halt. Totally annoying. Other than that, it was a great little small-town race, and I had a lot of fun! I mean how could you not have fun when you beat Gumby?!
I ended up coming in 1st overall for females, earning me a cute little trophy and a pair of Brooks running shoes! Holla! I’m not a Brooks running shoe gal, though I love their running clothes. But Mommaberries rocks Brooks Ariel’s on her insanely overpronated walker feet. So I decided to scoop up a pair of shoes for her, after all, without her constant love and support, I wouldn’t have been able to achieve anything in this life of mine, and would be alone at so many races.
What would you give as a gift to your number one fan?